2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class Review, Pricing, and Specs
The CLA-class sedan is the first step on the totem pole of Mercedes-Benz vehicle ownership. And while it’s categorically an entry-level model, it still offers the sense of occasion that’s associated with the brand. Mercedes has graced its smallest sedan with a moderately luxurious cabin, a comfortable suspension setup, and an adequate powertrain comprised of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine outfitted with a turbocharger as well as a belt-driven starter-generator. This mild-hybrid system is new this year and, Mercedes says, buttresses low-rpm power output. Like the rest of the CLA, though, the hybrid tech isn’t geared towards all-out performance. If you’re seeking driving thrills wrapped in a CLA body you should look to the spicier Mercedes-AMG CLA, which we report on separately. The standard CLA offers the look and feel of larger Mercedes in a size-small sedan at a relatively affordable starting price.
What’s New for 2024?
The 2024 Mercedes-Benz CLA-class sees a light refresh for the 2024 model year, which includes a reworked front end with a revised grille along with a tweaked rear end that flexes a new diffuser. The previously available Parking Package and Mirror Package are now included as standard equipment. Other changes include two new exterior color options—Hyper Blue and Starling Blue—as well as new interior trim elements and illuminated USB ports. The MBUX infotainment system has also been updated with new display styles and is now capable of wireless smartphone connection through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The German automaker has also integrated Dolby Atmos software into the optional Burmester audio system. The most notable change is the hybridization of the German sedan’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is now coupled to a belt-driven starter-generator.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The CLA250 comes with front-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive is standard on the CLA250 4Matic. The latter trim is a great choice for those who travel on wet, slippery roads, but we think everyone else will be happy with the CLA250. That car rides on 18-inch wheels and comes with exterior features such as automatic LED headlights, a sunroof, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and heated power-adjustable sideview mirrors with integrated turn signals. The list of standard amenities within the cabin includes 12-way power-adjustable front seats, a manually adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering column, a Nappa leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless entry and push-button ignition, and navigation. When it comes to driver-assistance features, automated emergency braking is standard.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
All Mercedes-Benz CLA-class sedans are motivated by a hybridized 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that utilizes a belt-driven starter-generator coupled to a 48-volt power supply. Peak output is 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, the same as before. But Mercedes says that the hybrid system adds 13 horsepower power in the lower rpm range. Gears are shifted by a seven-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available. At our test track, a 2020 all-wheel drive CLA250 4Matic model that lacks the new model’s hybrid system sprinted to 60 mph in a sprightly 5.6 seconds but felt less energetic around town than that number suggests. The CLA-class offers handling that’s polished, with nicely calibrated steering, minimum body roll when cornering, and a pleasantly firm brake pedal. Different drive modes (Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Individual) give you the ability to tailor the car’s performance to suit your preferences.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
EPA ratings are not available for the 2024 CLA-class yet, and we expect to see slightly improved figures given the addition of hybrid technology. For reference, 2023 front-wheel drive models are rated at 25/36 mpg city/highway while models with all-wheel drive fall to 24/33 mpg. Those figures are competitive for the segment, but you’ll get better fuel economy with the Audi A3 (up to 29/38 mpg). In our 75-mph highway fuel economy test, the all-wheel drive CLA250 managed to exactly meet its previous EPA estimate of 33 mpg. For more information about the CLA-class’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Though it’s one of the least expensive models in the automaker’s range, the CLA-class boasts a cabin that looks like it belongs in a Mercedes-Benz. The center stack is clean and modern, embellished with a trio of artful circular air vents. The front seats are pleasantly spacious, but there’s limited headroom in the second row due to the car’s sloping roofline. This sedan provides 13.1 cubic feet of cargo space.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The CLA-class is equipped with Mercedes-Benz’s latest infotainment system, and it features a touchpad-equipped steering wheel and console-mounted control pad. Overall, the setup is easy to use and configure. A 10.3-inch display is standard, along with Bluetooth connectivity and an eight-speaker sound system. All models come with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration as well as the “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant. The options list includes SiriusXM satellite radio and an upgraded Burmester audio system that features the Dolby Atmos sound experience.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The CLA-class is offered with driver-assistance features that can help keep you out of harm’s way during your travels, including a standard 360-degree camera. For more information about the CLA250’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking
- Available lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The warranty coverage provided by the Mercedes-Benz CLA-class matches the protection offered by competing cars from brands such as BMW and Audi.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
More Features and Specs